Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy Offers Faster Wound Healing

If you have a serious wound, or a wound that is slow to heal, hyperbaric oxygen therapy could help put you on the road to recovery.

The Wound Healing Center at Memorial Medical Center offers hyperbaric oxygen therapy to residents of Springfield and the surrounding area. This therapy is also offered at the Passavant Area Hospital Advanced Wound Healing Center in Jacksonville.

“At the Memorial Medical Center Wound Healing Center, all our providers and nursing staff have completed a hyperbaric oxygen therapy training program,” said Diane Loscher, manager of the Wound Healing Center. “Many people don’t know that this kind of therapy exists. We’re passionate about sharing its benefits with our patients.”

What is hyperbaric oxygen therapy?

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy is a unique way to promote faster healing. During this therapy, the body is exposed to 100 percent oxygen at high pressure, increasing the amount of oxygen in the blood and allowing the lungs to take in oxygen more quickly. By directing more oxygen to damaged tissues, wounds heal faster.

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy is generally administered on an outpatient basis. It takes place in a hyperbaric chamber, with the length of treatment and number of sessions depending on the severity and type of wound. Many people report “popping” in their ears due to the pressurized environment, but the treatment is painless and patients are able to breathe normally during their sessions. Some hyperbaric chambers are set up to allow patients to read, watch television or listen to music during treatment.

Who can benefit from hyperbaric oxygen therapy?

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy can be especially beneficial for patients with wounds, such as foot ulcers, that are related to diabetes. Most insurances cover the treatment for qualifying conditions, with prior authorization.

Other types of wounds that may benefit from this type of therapy include pressure ulcer due to bone infection, post-surgical incisions, soft tissue infections, crushing injuries, radiation wounds and certain types of skin grafts and burns.

How can I learn more?

Speak with your primary care provider to find out if hyperbaric oxygen therapy is the best choice for you. You can also call the Wound Healing Center at Memorial Medical Center at 217-588-2660 for more information.